While the final Overwatch World Cup Group Stage unfolded as many predicted, with France and UK advancing to the Top 8 at BlizzCon, the matches themselves weren’t nearly as predictable. There were some tightly contested matches as Europe’s brightest talent all fought to make themselves known. With so many of the players hailing from the Contenders scene, this was a perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd, and a few players didn’t let the moment pass them by.
Below, we’ve picked out some of the most memorable players from the Paris Group Stage who aren’t already in the Overwatch League.
Christopher “ChrisTFer” Graham—United Kingdom, Main Tank
The UK coasted through their first four games, only falling to France at the tail end of the weekend. The Brits had a team comprised of mostly Contenders talent, plus one Overwatch League representative in Isaac “Boombox” Charles, but the one player currently without a team was their returning main tank, ChrisTFer. After his performances during the Paris Group Stage, he likely won’t be without a contract for long, as he fearlessly patrolled the frontline for Team UK, landing impactful Earthshatters like the one below.
Steven “Kodak” Rosenberger—Germany, Support
Where were you when Kodak staked his claim as king of Route 66? When he earned an extra “K” in his name for his nutty Zenyatta play? Twice over the weekend, the Team Germany support took over with his standout play—he even did it against France, suppressing the best team in the Group Stage with his expert snipes, Discord Orbs, and clutch Transcendence usage. Kodak also showed off his skills on Ana, proving why he should be considered one of the rising stars of the European scene. But man, we’ll always remember the Zen plays.
Karol “Danye” Szcześniak—Poland, DPS
Whether you call him Danye, Karol, or Deezy, this DPS player drew rave reviews in Paris as Poland’s standout player. His flexibility allowed him to excel on core heroes like Genji, and he was able to shine on more niche picks like McCree, who saw a resurgence over the weekend in 3-2-1 compositions. On McCree, Danye’s pinpoint accuracy could be seen, again and again, as he helped Poland push a couple of matches to a fifth tiebreaker map.
Jeffrey “Vizility” de Vries—Netherlands, DPS
The Dutch team performed well in Paris, ending the weekend with a 3-2 record while showcasing strong team play. Vizility, who has spent the last two seasons in Contenders, was a big part of that, as he flexed between a whole host of heroes, from hitscan to projectile. But with triple-triple compositions dominating most maps, Vizility spent the majority of his time on Zarya, and the Netherlands counted on his big ultimates to turn the tide of team fights.
Marco “HearThBeaT” Soffia—Italy, DPS
There were a few returning players who made a big impact for Italy, including DPS Edoardo “Carnifex” Badolato and main tank Lorenzo “Midna” Nulli—the only representative currently in Contenders. One new face who stood out was the 17-year-old Hearthbeat, who made his country proud at his first LAN tournament with some standout matches on Genji, Junkrat, and especially Zarya:
Your opponents can't contest the payload if they can't actually touch it @HearThBeaT_OW slams the big brain Graviton Surge and gets @AzzurriOw across the finish line on King's Row! #OWWC2018 pic.twitter.com/YCfMzChIq2- Overwatch Path to Pro (@owpathtopro) September 23, 2018
Herman “Nesh” Kobrin—Germany, DPS
Nesh’s highlight reel from Paris was fairly long, as Team Germany’s flex DPS played key heroes throughout the tournament. Aside from showing off a mean Zarya in the seemingly standard triple-triple compositions, Nesh was also one of the better Sombra players in Paris, helping Germany counter triple-triple comps time and time again, including a five-map thriller against France. Plus, his skill on Widowmaker was no joke:
Benjamin “Benbest” Dieulafait—France, Main Tank
French fans might say that we saved the (ben)best for last, and they’re not wrong. Team France, featuring a veteran Rogue core and legitimate Overwatch League superstars like Terence “SoOn” Tarlier and Gael “Poko” Gouzerch, was nonetheless anchored by the excellent play of its unsigned main tank, Benbest. His Reinhardt play was aggressive yet poised, forming the core of France’s excellent triple-triple compositions, which took opponents by surprise more than once in Paris. If Benbest can put forth a similar standout performance in the Top 8 at BlizzCon, he could join his more decorated teammates in becoming a household name amongst Overwatch fans.